Omaha’s Answer to Costly Potholes? Go Back to Gravel Roads
While President Trump has called for major spending on infrastructure, cities like Omaha have resorted to unusual solutions to problems unlikely to see federal funding.
OMAHA — After living more than 40 years along a road plagued by potholes, Jo Anne Amoura was excited to see city crews shred her block of Leavenworth Street into gravel.
“I thought, ‘Oh my gosh, this is great. We’re going to get a new street,’” Ms. Amoura recalled. “And then we waited and waited and waited.”
Fresh pavement never arrived. Only after the asphalt had been ripped out almost three years ago did Ms. Amoura and her neighbors learn that their street had been “reclaimed,” Omaha City Hall’s euphemism for unpaving a road.
“It’s really kind of like living in the country in the city,” said Ms. Amoura, 74. Her neighbors sometimes hauled wheelbarrows full of scattered gravel back up the hill after big rainstorms. And her house, she says, is regularly smudged with dirt blowing in from the street.
Yep, you read that caption correctly, neighbors took up a collection to get the road in front of their houses repaved with concrete. They paid ½ of the cost of the resurfacing (utilizing their own after-tax money in the process). The city paid the other ½ of the cost. In Omaha it appears government will build half of each road assuming you and your neighbors will chip in for the other half. A dangerous precedent and slippery (gravel) slope, I’d say.
‘Cause w/o government, who’d tear up the roads thus reverting back to mid-20th-century gravel roads?
Wait a minute! I thought government existed to build roads—I’m confused?! Now the government is stealing your money and you don’t even get roads in return…
Meanwhile, in front of the city offices in downtown Omaha…paved roads everywhere…